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The Eland
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The Eland
A story of a young khoi-san boy's coming-of age.
[637 words]
Martin Glenpool
Brilliant, blonde.
[May 2003]
The Eland
Martin Glenpool

Umtaquangafilanquka’s small but calloused hand gripped upon the course granite rock, and with a pull and a swing his limber body catapulted on its axis, with a thump landed duel-footed solidly on the ground, a disapproving cloud of red dust rising lethargically from the compacted twilight desert floor. The spear and arrows chuckled to themselves in his hand as he moved, crouching from stone megalith to monstrosity, a shadow between the cracks…There - in the distance, an Eland’s attentive eye rises, set in that chewing face, wary of all and any sound, smell or movement. Umtaquangafilanquka knew that no activity can work its way to even three-metres length near to an Eland without it knowing – an Eland is blessed with a magical awareness – but Umtaquangafilanquka also knew that Eland do die – and they die by the hands of those blessed with a magical – NO MOM I DON’T WANT ANY SUPPER IM TRYNA WRITE A FUCKING STORY HERE – huntsman-ship. Umtaquanga-filanquka was the youngest of the tribe – he had never made a kill, but tonight, he had decided to go out on his own, leaving Dlamaninquanaqueré, who was a loud bully and would scare the Eland away, Umthondoquanthlaferemi the coward, who would no doubt scare himself away or Siyatyachamalendeni and his small dog Unchambale-ndenisiyangeni-uthombo-ya-chanichangawena who seemed to have no conception of what was actually going on, be there Eland, waterbuck, White Rhino or pride of hungry lions on the horizon. Umtaquangafilanquka Watched the Eland for a while longer, and it moved away, unaware that it was inconveniencing it’s hunter who was now beginning to run severely short of cover. The moon seemed to be trying to spotlight Umtaquanga-filanquka as he moved between the unhelpful rocks, and he felt the little pebbles at his feet poised to scream grating warnings as he crunched upon them gaining incrementally nearer in distance to the solitary buck that stood in the moonlit pain half as a defiant symbol of wild –WHAT? I DON’T CARE IF FRASIER IS ON I HATE THAT PRICK – nature and half as a pleading submissive conquest, a teasingly easy target…He remembered the words of Lethegenga-nisiyabonga-lemadilathuyasi-chawana-bongafuya-bulingiza-wenchibolunga-filachanzi-bolongasachabawengani, which went along the lines of “Throw the spear at the buck” or “When the buck isn’t looking, throw the spear at it” or something like that, and he attempted to get close enough to the buck so that the throw might pierce it’s skin, in the back of his mind doubting the shivering limbs that held the instrument, this spear that contented itself to the full with the prospect of staying safely in his clammy hands. But at once the spear was launched – straight and true did it fly into the buck’s neck and the startled creature leaped up, mortally wounded, the spear still sticking out of its side and runs in as opposite a direction as it can ascertain from the degrees of the attack – MOM – SERIOUSLY I’M RIGHT AT THE – but Umtaquangafilanquka pursues as if his coming-of-age depended on it – END OF THE – and yes! The Eland drops and in a satisfactory show of death that panders to our westernised imaginary adaptation of ‘what it looks like to see animal die-e-e-e-e’ the buck drops and convulses – PIECE HERE – IT’S RATHER LOOKING – and Umtaquangafilanquka drops upon it with his little African-man blade and begins to rip into the dying animal – LIKE A DAZZLER – into all of the major arteries, to make sure it’s dead and all – and now he’s a champion with all of the tribe boys.’
“Umtaquangafilanquka” they say, “Umtaquangafilanquka, you are so great and blah and blah and blah because you killed the Eland. Boy-oh-boy.”



"Inspiring! Wonderful! Bigoted and subjective - this story shows wogitty wogs at their finest! we expect more from you, as you seem to be a most promising perveyor of prose! " -- Editor of 'Young Writer'.
"Hey Martin, you still owe me fifty bucks for last thursday. Don't think I don't realise you're avoiding me you cheap bastard." -- The Rube.
"I hate you martin." -- The rube.
"I hate you too. This isn't a short story. This is a castrated novelette." -- aloysius.
"I don't even know you and I hate you. May your fingers rot." -- Rubicon.
"Superb. Blew my mind. I daresay I have not read something so fabulous in ... well, ever! Fantastic. You are a genius in the use of language. I held my breath throughout this piece. When you said "DON’T CARE IF FRASIER IS ON I HATE THAT PRICK," I was hooked. You have a successful future ahead of you, Martin. " -- SweetPea.


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© 2003 Martin Glenpool
May 2003

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